Ireland is finally bringing in some legislation to protect women’s lives, which might be in danger due to childbirth. It is about time I thought; our courts had decided back in 1992 that if a mother’s life was in danger than an abortion could be performed. This made a doctor’s choice a lot easier knowing he or she was not going to end up in prison for performing an abortion in such circumstances.
However, when Ireland say’s it is bringing in legislation it means kinda, sorta, maybe-ish Because one part of the legislation was to deal with suicidal pregnant women and whether they should have abortions if their lives were in danger due to pregnancy, think rape or incest victim here. You can see why a woman might be a tad bit distressed at having to carry her rapist’s child to term when clearly the rapist himself should not have been carried to term.
But I digress. So the legislation insists any woman who finds herself in such a dire situation will have to face a three man panel. This panel will decide if the woman is suicidal or not. I don’t know how they are going to decide that. It sounds ludicrous and more than a little abusive. If the panel finds the suicidal woman to not be suicidal than she has the option to appeal.
The appeal process is simple; she will go in front of another three man panel, and they will once again decide if she is suicidal or not.
It is all very stupid. I mean the very idea that you would put somebody in front of a panel instantly says: we don’t believe you. Prove it! You are putting someone who is stressed to the point of suicide in a room with not one but three people judging whether you are suicidal or not. It is like some macabre Twilight Zone edition of the X-Factor or American Idol. So inhumane and bizarre you have to think that human rights are being violated here.
As you can imagine, Irish media is all about the abortion legislation, lots of Rightwing politicians, Catholic Church and Vatican led groups filling late night political shows, radio and newspapers with their inane diatribe. I’ve heard a lot of questions, both good and bad from all sides of the debate, but one question remains unanswered. It just popped into my head when I read about the panel: if a woman goes in front of the panel and is found to be not suicidal, then appeals it, and is once again found to be not suicidal, and is found dead a short time later, who is going to prison?
The reason that question is unanswered is because it has not been asked by anyone. Not once.